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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Vote Notes on Legislation

May 10, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
In what has become a tradition, H.R. 2157 uses emergency disaster relief as an excuse for loading up billions of dollars of non-disaster relief spending that normally would raise serious questions.
May 9, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
This measure is deceptively titled the "Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019.” It does no such thing.
Issues:
February 26, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
This is a massive document encompassing 147 individual bills, including mine on establishing a permanent fund for medical clinics in our National Parks. It reduces total federal land ownership at a time we can’t take care of the land we currently hold, shares considerably more LWCF money with states which have proven better land stewards, and relaxes public use restrictions on 168,000 acres of federal land. I am greatly concerned about adding 1.3 million acres of federal land to wilderness designation which greatly restricts public access, but more than half of this amount is in exchange for opening up other federal lands to greater recreation and economic development and has the support of the local governments most directly affected. I am also concerned over permanent reauthorization of the LWCF without reforming it to assure that maintenance needs are met before we acquire new lands. However, it does provide for 40 percent revenue sharing with state governments.
February 26, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
This bill would invalidate the President’s action to invoke the National Emergencies Act regarding the security of our nation’s southern border. The President has invoked an authority dating back to 1976 that allows him, by making such a declaration, to reprogram unobligated military construction funds to address the emergency. It has been invoked 58 times since then, including for such declared “emergencies” as civil unrest in Burma and Sierra Leone. There are 31 such emergencies currently in effect. In this case, the designation allows the President to access funds to build a wall to secure our own country’s porous southern border. Whether Congress should have given the President such a broad grant of authority is a separate matter. But as long as he has it, he has the responsibility to use it to defend our nation’s southern border and uphold our immigration laws.
February 14, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
Our country faces two dangers that have proven fatal to other countries: the collapse of our borders and the collapse of our finances. This bill doesn’t solve our border crisis and it makes our fiscal woes worse. It provides only $1.375 billion of the $5.7 billion necessary to complete the border wall at a time when 60,000 foreign nationals are illegally crossing into our country every month. Further, it hamstrings the use of this money with restrictions on the type of wall that can be constructed, confines it geographically, orders massive breaks in coverage and subjects it to local delays. Worse, it places new restrictions on law enforcement in trying to enforce our existing immigration law. Furthermore, the President has statutory authority to re-reprogram more than $13 billion in military construction funds for border wall construction without such restrictions. With or without this bill, he will still need to invoke this authority. While the measure doesn’t solve the border crisis, it irresponsibly increases overall spending at a time when revenues are essentially flat, moving us closer to a trillion-dollar annual deficit which economists warn is risking a debt spiral and ultimately a sovereign debt crisis. Countries that can’t defend their borders or that bankrupt themselves aren’t around very long. This bill fails to defend our borders and brings us closer to catastrophic fiscal insolvency.
February 13, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
Withdrawing Congressional Authorization for Use of Force in Support of Yemeni Government: No. I am sympathetic to the concern of supporters that the use of military force can only be authorized by Congress and should only be authorized in response to an attack on U.S. territory or military forces. However, in the case of U.S. support against the Houthi rebels, the authorization was provided in the Authorization for the Use of Military Force approved by Congress in 2001, which covers the extremist elements directly affiliated with the Houthi rebels like Hezbollah. I have serious concerns about the way the AUMF was drafted and how it has been pursued, but invoking the War Powers Resolution, which hasn’t been done since the Vietnam war, after Congress has provided authorization is ill advised and will negatively impact our credibility in the region.
January 22, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
This act prohibits U.S. withdrawal from NATO and commits perpetual American support. While I support NATO and our continued presence in it, this bill is unnecessary and appears deliberately aimed at undercutting the President’s efforts to get NATO countries to pay their fair share for its support. NATO was formed to provide security against the now-defunct Soviet Union; not to relieve individual European nations from their responsibility to maintain their own defenses at America’s expense.
January 11, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
This bill funds Interior and related agencies through the end of the fiscal year. Setting aside the current impasse over border security, the bill is ill-advised on its merits. It plusses up almost every request made by the administration, with the notable exception of PILT funding that compensates rural communities that are slammed by excessive federal ownership of land in their jurisdictions. It reduces funds approved by the Republican House last year for hazardous fuels reduction, national park maintenance, and water infrastructure...
January 10, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
Setting aside the impasse over funding border security, this bill is also ill-advised on its merits. This bill increases funding for the 1930’s era farm subsidies that have squandered billions of taxpayer dollars to inflate consumer prices ($40+ billion), jeopardized taxpayer money in risky high-risk housing markets where lenders fear to tread ($25 billion), doles out almost $2 billion for international food hand-outs, continues the food stamp program with no serious attempt to remove the disincentives to work that the program creates ($73 billion), and continues us on the spending trajectory established by the BBA. But once again, they couldn’t find $5.7 billion for a secure border wall.
January 10, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
Setting aside the impasse over funding border security, this bill is ill-advised on its merits. It continues to drain $9.9 billion of motorists’ taxes paid at the pump away from highways in favor of mass transit subsidies, continues to fund absurdly wasteful programs such as subsidized air service ($155 million), money-losing Amtrak routes ($1.9 billion), local grant programs which have been used to fund such nonsense as “Doggy Day Care” centers ($3.4 billion), and massive housing subsidies to ameliorate the affordability crisis caused by government restrictions and mandates on home construction ($30+ billion). But they couldn’t find any money for a border wall. Worst of all, it continues the irresponsible spending trajectory established by the so-called BBA (formally the “Bi-Partisan Budget Act” but more accurately the “Budget Busting Act”) that is quickly leading us to trillion-dollar annual deficits despite increased tax revenues.

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